Thursday, June 20, 2024

Miguel Berry’s late goal salvages a point for the Galaxy in draw with Real Salt Lake

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  • Soccer fans cheer during the first half of an MLS...

    Soccer fans cheer during the first half of an MLS soccer match between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig kicks the ball against Real...

    LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig kicks the ball against Real Salt Lake during the first half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

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    A person dressed as the character Darth Vader from the Star Wars movie series walks near the stands prior to the start of an MLS soccer match between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

  • LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney enters the field prior...

    LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney enters the field prior to the start of an MLS soccer match between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

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    LA Galaxy starting eleven pose for a portrait prior to the start of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

  • Soccer fans watch the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake...

    Soccer fans watch the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake play during the first half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

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    LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig (10 )takes a goal shot against Real Salt Lake during the first half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

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  • LA Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil kicks the ball against Real...

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  • LA Galaxy celebrate after LA Galaxy forward Miguel Berry, right,...

    LA Galaxy celebrate after LA Galaxy forward Miguel Berry, right, scores a goal against Real Salt Lake during the second half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

  • LA Galaxy forward Miguel Berry, bottom left, kicks the ball...

    LA Galaxy forward Miguel Berry, bottom left, kicks the ball for the equalizing goal against Real Salt Lake during the second half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The match ended in a draw 2-2. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

  • LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic, left, vies for the ball...

    LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic, left, vies for the ball with Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad, right, during the first half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

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    LA Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil controls the ball against Real Salt Lake during the first half of an MLS soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr., Contributing Photographer)

CARSON — These are busy times and month of May for the Galaxy.

The schedule calls for six games this month and the first three will be taking place in this eight-game stretch that started Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Thanks to Miguel Berry, the Galaxy was able to salvage a point with a sliding, toe-poke goal that just crossed the line with about 25 seconds from the end of the game for the 2-2 draw Saturday in front of 25,220 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“The ball came back to Riqui, he just …he didn’t even have a great look, he kind of hooked it around the back of the line and whenever you do that, it’s just about who can get there first,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “Miguel was able to get a step with a long leg in front of his man and as the keeper came, it was one of those balls that’s a tweener, tough one to read and Miguel was the first one to get to it and it found a way in.”

Berry, who was acquired and eventually signed with the Galaxy in the off-season, had struggled to get on the end of things early this season. His moment came Saturday that pulled back a point when it appeared that a loss was certain. A last hopeful cross by Riqui Puig found Berry, who was falling toward the ground, but he slid by this defender to get to the ball before MacMath did and get it over the line.

“Riqui put in a great ball,” Berry said. “I heard the keeper call for it. Maybe he didn’t see me. We wanted three points, but we’ll take the point.

“It’s one of the better groups I’ve been in. We’re a team, no matter who scores, we’re together. It’s a great moment. That was third shot of the season. As a striker, you’re judged on goals and when you’re not scoring, it’s fairly judged. When you don’t score, you start asking yourself questions.”

The Galaxy (5-2-5, 20 points) finally got on the scoreboard in the 54th minute on Gabriel Pec’s goal. It was their first goal in three games. The Galaxy had failed to score in their last two (2-0 loss against Austin FC and a scoreless draw against Seattle).

From there, the Galaxy had several decent chances for the equalizer, including a solo run by Joseph Paintsil that ended up with the shot sailing over the bar. In the 74th minute, Utah goalkeeper Zach MacMath lost possession as Pec was swarming near him. With an open Pec tried to thread a tight needle toward the center, but the ball was cleared.

Paintsil was initially subbed off in the 81st minute and walked straight to the locker room.

Old nemesis Juan “Chicho” Arango, who played with LAFC, scored twice in the first half as RSL took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Arango’s goals came after an early stretch where it appeared that the Galaxy would strike first. The Galaxy found success out on the wings with Paintsil, but the final execution came up short. Even the first-half stats showed that the Galaxy probably should have had the lead (the Galaxy had the advantage in shots, shots on goal and expected goals.”

The Galaxy will be on the road for the next two games, Wednesday at Minnesota United and Saturday at Charlotte FC. Through the early weeks of the season, the Galaxy have already played seven road games. Saturday was just the fifth home game.

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